Samuel von Pufendorf, 1632-1694

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Portrait of S. Pufendorf

German natural law philosopher. In his main work (1672), Samuel von Pufendorf argued that civil society was established largely on contract between individual wills, but that sovereignty rests in a benevolent ruler. He gave philosophical rationale for State paternalism which was then taken up by German Cameralists. Pufendorf also made the careful distinction between "usefulness", a quality intrinsic in a good, and "utility", a property of the relationship between the good and its consumer. Justified existence of private property contra Grotius.

Major Works of Samuel von Pufendorf

Resources on Samuel von Pufendorf
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